Forgive me Father for I have sinned.

Well, it’s not really sinned as such. I know you say impure thoughts count but just because I think about beating Mother Superior over the head doesn’t mean I actually will. It’s more of a healthy mental release. She’s been getting right up my nose recently, picking holes in everything I do, not to mention the punishments. I don’t mind a bit of suffering, after all that’s what I signed up for, but what am I? A slave. She started me scrubbing the flagstones in the main corridor on Monday. All the novices going past, giggling and leaving footprints. No consideration. And what have I done to deserve this? I was late for morning prayers. Mother Superior went on about it as if I was the Devil himself.

She’s turned sour. She didn’t mind a laugh and a joke when I first came. And I was often a little late for prayers in the early days. I’m not really a morning person. Anyway 5am is the middle of the night as far as I’m concerned. And it’s not like God’s going anywhere. I’m sure He doesn’t mind what time of day I talk to Him. He’d probably appreciate the odd lie-in without having to listen to me droning on first thing.

I tried explaining it to her but she just shut down like a clam. So today, there I am scrubbing the floors again with all my might and who comes in but the new gardener. I may have taken vows but I’m not blind and it’s not like I ran after him yelling ‘Take me.’ I mean talk about Lead me not into Temptation. He insists on wearing nothing but shorts. The other day he was chopping wood outside my window while I was trying to meditate on the Immaculate Conception. His skin was actually glowing as if he’d been polished.

Anyway, he walks by and says, ‘Good Morning, Sister Teresa.’ It’s the first civil thing I’ve heard all day, so I stand up and say, ‘Good Morning, Michael.’ Just to be polite. Then he’s asking me if I know where the outside broom is because he can’t find it in its normal place in the shed. Now I know for a fact that it sometimes makes its way into the scullery. Well, that’s when Mother Superior turns up looking like thunder, wanting to know why I’m stopping Michael from his work. Me stopping him! I ask you. Sweet as anything he explains to her how it’s his fault. All nice she was then and offers to show him where the scullery is. At that point, I confess, I blasphemed.

I didn’t mean to throw the bucket over her but it was wet and slipped out of my hands. Oh the fuss, just for a drop of water. You’d’ve thought I’d found the gates of Hell at the bottom of the garden. Michael was holding himself trying not to laugh. Eventually, when she stopped carrying on, she told me to come in here to reflect. So that’s what I’m doing. And I can’t see that I’ve done anything wrong. Not yet anyway.